Warning from MOM and now doing a visa run- advice needed!

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
Tainak
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 5:14 am

Warning from MOM and now doing a visa run- advice needed!

Post by Tainak » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 1:26 pm

Hi All,

My company failed to process my EP and I received a warning from MOM. However the officer who handed out the letter said I would not be issued an EP for the next 12 months. This was not mentioned in the letter.

But is it still true?

The same officer said (again it was NOT written in the letter) that I would not be issued another social visit pass. I'm from a visa- free country and had 90 days stamped in my passport in the airport. Now the 90 days is up and I would still like to stay in Singapore and look for another job.

If I do a visa run to Indonesia what are the chances that they let me back into the country?

Does anybody have experience in a situation like this?

:cry:

User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003 9:38 pm
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Post by jpatokal » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 2:27 pm

What do you mean "failed to process my EP"? They never applied for the EP, so you were working illegally for those 90 days? In that case, you will almost certainly not be allowed back in, especially if the MOM explicitly told you so.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39577
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 4:17 pm

Additionally, they normally don't issue you a "letter" advising you of same. They just flag your particulars and as soon as the data is entered into immigration you are caught. Sounds like you have been caught and actually were given the easy way out. (you could have be detained so consider yourself lucky as you would be detained and then summarily ejected from the country never to return). Sounds like they are just giving you a 12 month penalty. That's better than a permanent ban. And yes, it true. It doesn't need to be written anywhere. (I currently have a similar problem with my nephew's wife, who married my nephew after having gone back home to the 'peens upon completion of her job here (WP). Unfortunately they got married in the 'peens without permission from the Singapore Government so she is currently sitting out a minimum 6 month ban and no guarantees that she will be approved with that up.

Would agree with JP though. Sounds like you might have been caught working without a proper permit.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

User avatar
Saint
Director
Director
Posts: 3535
Joined: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 5:19 pm
Location: The Juban Stand, Boat Quay
Contact:

Post by Saint » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 6:03 pm

And if you try and do a visa run to Bintan, as I guess you are suggesting, when you try and get back into Singapore they could just refuse you entry and send you back from where you've just come from!

You'll have great fun trying to get back home from Bintan :lol:

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11650
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:13 am
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:14 pm

What did the letter say? Post the contents... maybe we can sort it.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39577
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 30 Jun 2009 10:38 pm

Saint wrote:And if you try and do a visa run to Bintan, as I guess you are suggesting, when you try and get back into Singapore they could just refuse you entry and send you back from where you've just come from!

You'll have great fun trying to get back home from Bintan :lol:
From years of the old oilfield visa runs to Malaysia, what normally happens when immigration susses you out they will let you in the country one last time but with only a 3 day visa, long enough to button up everything and leave the country. I've seen it happen umpteen time over the last 20 years or so.

Additionally, in this case, I think the poster will find himself in deep brown stuff on the visa run as immigration/mom will already have flagged his particulars because of the warning. Why he wants to do a visa run when not going to be able to get an EP for 12 months anyway is jut asking for trouble and maybe a permanent ban from Singapore.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

Tainak
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 5:14 am

Post by Tainak » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 11:01 am

Thanks for all the replies!

It does look like I don't have many options, only one to be specific

My question though is that why the 12months ban was not mentioned in the warning letter if that is the case.

The letter only says:

In lieu of prosecution we are issuing you a stern warning. If you are again found working without a valid work pass, prosecution will be taken against you.

Verbally the officer said that I could not obtain another social visit pass OR it would be for a shorter period of time. Is there a way I can contact ICA and find out?

I've spoken to a lawyer (local) and he thinks I would be able to get an EP as the letter doesn't mention the ban. But everybody here thinks I cannot. I'm confused.

Thanks again!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39577
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:46 pm

Tainak wrote:Thanks for all the replies!

It does look like I don't have many options, only one to be specific

My question though is that why the 12months ban was not mentioned in the warning letter if that is the case.

The letter only says:

In lieu of prosecution we are issuing you a stern warning. If you are again found working without a valid work pass, prosecution will be taken against you.

Okay. This verifies what we all thought here. You were working in Singapore without a valid permit. Bad news.

Verbally the officer said that I could not obtain another social visit pass OR it would be for a shorter period of time. Is there a way I can contact ICA and find out?

This also supports what I mentioned. You may go out of the country but you might only be given a month, a week, or even 3 days only.

I've spoken to a lawyer (local) and he thinks I would be able to get an EP as the letter doesn't mention the ban. But everybody here thinks I cannot. I'm confused.

You can place all your marbles with the lawyer and possibly throw good money after bad. Remember, you have already broken the law here so MOM/ICA are gunning for you anyway now. However, did the lawyer also tell you that when your EP is disallowed, MOM does not and will not give you (or the lawyer) the reason for doing so. Therefore, it's a shot in the dark. If you want to do so, nobody is stopping you. Also, as noone here works for MOM or ICA all our evidence is anecdotal anyway. Has the lawyer you spoke to had any REAL cases to refer to that have been successfully won in a similar situation?

Thanks again!
sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

User avatar
hibri2
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue, 17 May 2005 12:53 pm
Location: Earth - Asia - Singapore

Post by hibri2 » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 2:20 pm

Tainak wrote: Verbally the officer said that I could not obtain another social visit pass OR it would be for a shorter period of time. Is there a way I can contact ICA and find out?
i think sms summarized well enough what the rest have been saying, just to add some details about the social visa part or your predicament.

when your social visa runs out of legal days you have to go out, in normal circumstances you can apply for an extension online and you get some more time, for your particular case, i dont see that happening as you have being caught working illegally.

if you try to do a quick "there and back again" to get another stamp, again, in normal circumstances your number of days will start to go down (30 first time, 14 days second, 7, 3, 1)... until they will just deny you entry. in your case, again, they most likely deny entry the first time.

a person doing the U turn will be required to get tickets and papers to "prove" that you are actually leaving.

now the EP ban is a totally different matter, in normal circumstances... if a company applies for an EP for you and it fails 3 times the employer cant apply again for a year or so... (by the way, it can happen... for example the idiotic HR of where i work messed up and i got rejected twice... then he told me... why? the word diploma means something totally different in spanish... third time i did it myself and got it, close call).

in your case, MOM will have your name as an offender and as such, if a company applies for an EP for you they will say no. you may want to check that ban just to know if it is forever (it can happen) or just for a year.

last thing, remember that (as far as i know) you dont apply for EP for yourself, it has to be an employer. i dont know what the lawyer can do, unless he is actually hiring you after wards :-D
"Do not pray in my school, and I will not think in your church." - Unknown.

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11650
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:13 am
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Post by Strong Eagle » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 2:33 pm

Tainak wrote:I've spoken to a lawyer (local) and he thinks I would be able to get an EP as the letter doesn't mention the ban. But everybody here thinks I cannot. I'm confused.
Get an EP from where? It is the company that applies for the EP. Clearly your first company did not bother to apply or did not succeed.

You would need to find another company willing to hire you and then apply for an EP for you. Given your history, you would be doing the company a disservice by not revealing it, and if you do reveal it, they might not want to take a chance with you.

Why in the world did you work without an EP?

User avatar
hibri2
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue, 17 May 2005 12:53 pm
Location: Earth - Asia - Singapore

Post by hibri2 » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 2:48 pm

Strong Eagle wrote: Get an EP from where? It is the company that applies for the EP. Clearly your first company did not bother to apply or did not succeed.
Why in the world did you work without an EP?
SE, seems to me that it is not so clear as it seems, considering he/she got a letter stating:
In lieu of prosecution we are issuing you a stern warning. If you are again found working without a valid work pass, prosecution will be taken against you.
which it makes me feel that the "proper procedure" was not done at his/her side. if the company hides to an employee about their status and do not provide them with an EP (really rare scenario) the "stern warning" will go to the company and the employee most like could get reparations or something, no?
Strong Eagle wrote: Why in the world did you work without an EP?
i honestly dont see that so much a problem, but for a person who gets caught doing it, he/she strikes me as dangerously naive for his/her own good...
"Do not pray in my school, and I will not think in your church." - Unknown.

User avatar
Saint
Director
Director
Posts: 3535
Joined: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 5:19 pm
Location: The Juban Stand, Boat Quay
Contact:

Post by Saint » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 3:08 pm

What kind of visa are you on at the moment? I see you arrived in Singapore in January so presume you you would have SVP which would have been for 90 days at the most, it's now July so are you actually an over-stayer??

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39577
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 3:40 pm

I'm willing to bet that OP did a visa run because the employer told 'em that the pass was still being processed. If they got a 90 day the first time, they may have gotten a 2nd 90 days visa as well. It might be that ICA/MOM might have been casing the employer already and coupled with the length of time being "employed" he got caught out. They (MOM & ICA) will just waltz into your business and demand to see any employee that they feel like. And all the paperwork better be in order. I mentioned a while back about losing two S pass holder over "forged documents". I was visited by a "team" of three MOM officers without any prior appointment made, just walked in (and you cannot do anything about it either).

His best bet is to return home without too much fanfare, wait the 12 months and then try again and maybe the office was correct with ONLY 12 months. Other aren't so lucky and are permanently banned or prosecuted. Methinks the employer must already have a rep as well. Remember, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. (Similar with NS problems).
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

User avatar
hibri2
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 344
Joined: Tue, 17 May 2005 12:53 pm
Location: Earth - Asia - Singapore

Post by hibri2 » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 3:53 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I'm willing to bet that OP did a visa run because the employer told 'em that the pass was still being processed. If they got a 90 day the first time, they may have gotten a 2nd 90 days visa as well. It might be that ICA/MOM might have been casing the employer already...
just out of curiosity...

if that is the case, shouldn't Tainak will have a case against the employer?

it seems to me that in a case like the one stated above, the employer kept him/her in the dark and now is basically destroying any possibility of employment for Tainak in singapore for a year or more... plus all the other things they use in the legal tv dramas like "emotional anxiety", etc, etc...
"Do not pray in my school, and I will not think in your church." - Unknown.

Tainak
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun, 21 Dec 2008 5:14 am

Post by Tainak » Wed, 01 Jul 2009 4:15 pm

Again many thanks for the replies. I'm glad to get third party opinions as it provides me with more understanding in this rather surreal situation.

I arrived to Singapore in late Feb and got 90 days stamped on my passport. I went to Bintan for a holiday in between and got another 90days. However I didn't do this to get more "time".

My company assured me that the application was in process and not knowing about the local labour law back then I trusted what they said. They have applied for EPs before and therefore I thought they know what they are doing.

I should have put more pressure on them but I didn't and yes, that was naive from my side. I also wasn't aware that I could actually report them at MOM.

I would like to make a case against the company but my financial situation doesn't really allow me to hire a lawyer.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests